Rapist begs CCJ to reduce 23-year jail sentence

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Convicted rapist Calvin Ramcharran was back in court on Tuesday, begging the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to reconsider his sentence.

In 2015, he was convicted on two counts of rape, and was sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment. In court on Tuesday, defense attorney Nigel Hughes asked the Judges who presided over this matter, Hon. Justice Jamadar, Hon. Madam Justice Rajnauth-Lee, Hon. Justice Anderson and Hon. Justice Barrow, to shorten the conviction sentence.

The defense posited that the sentence is excessive and is not in keeping with modern sentencing principles. Hence, the reason for his client moving to the CCJ with the hope that the jail time would be reduced.

During the hearing, Hughes noted that the range of sentences that a person convicted of murder in Guyana is subject to is completely dependent on the judge.

As such, he was asked the range of similar offences in Guyana, but was unable to provide sufficient data.

He was then invited to submit research on sentencing patterns in similar cases, and was granted 14 days to expand his proviso.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Diana Kaulesar-O’Brien, who was also present at the airing, represented the DPP, and she laid the foundation on the basis of how Ramcharran was sentenced.

A new date is yet to be set for continuation of the appeal.

In January of this year, Ramcharran lost his appeal when the Court of Appeal affirmed his conviction.

On November 16, 2015, he was sentenced by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow after a jury found him guilty of the crime. Subsequently, the rapist moved to the Court of Appeal, contending that his sentence was excessive.

At the commencement of his trial in the High Court in Demerara, Ramcharran had denied the charge which stated that on July 23, 2012, he engaged in sexual penetration with a young woman without her consent at Soesdyke on the East Bank Demerara.

He was later convicted and sentenced to jail on another charge, which state that during the rape, he assaulted the woman, causing her grievous bodily harm.

Based on the evidence before the court, on the day of the incident, the woman had gone to a party with some friends, and was making her way to the washroom when Ramcharran followed her and asked her if she was “doing business,” but she said, “No.”

He then proceeded to grab her hands, and a fight ensued between them, during which Ramcharran hit her several times with a bottle to her head, and then dragged her to the back of the building.

While there, he choked and punched the victim before sexually assaulting her. After committing the act, he offered the woman $65,000 and left.

The victim alerted her friends, who immediately took her to seek medical attention. The matter was reported, and Ramcharran was arrested and charged.